A&A 388, 235-245 (2002)
J. A. Gil 1 - G. I. Melikidze 1,2 - D. Mitra 3
1 - Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, Lubuska 2, 65-265, Zielona Góra, Poland
2 - Center for Plasma Astrophysics, Abastumani Astrophysical Observatory, Al.Kazbegi ave. 2a, Tbilisi 380060, Georgia
3 - Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Received 27 November 2001 / Accepted 25 March 2002
We propose a vacuum gap (VG) model which can be applied uniformly for normal and high-magnetic-field pulsars. The model requires a strong and non-dipolar surface magnetic field near the pulsar polar cap. We assume that the actual surface magnetic field in pulsars results from the superposition of a global dipole field and a crust-anchored small scale magnetic anomaly . We provide a numerical formalism for modelling such structures of the surface magnetic field and explore it within the framework of the VG model, which requires strong surface fields G. Thus, in order to increase the resultant surface field to values exceeding 1013 G, in low magnetic field pulsars with G it is required that , with the same polarities (orientations) of and . However, if the polarities are opposite, the resultant surface field can be lower than the dipolar surface component inferred from the pulsar spin-down. We propose that high-magnetic-field pulsars (HBPs) with the inferred global dipole field exceeding the so-called photon splitting threshold G, can generate observable radio emission "against the odds'', provided that the surface dipolar magnetic field is reduced below by the magnetic anomaly of the right strength and polarity. We find that effective reduction is possible if the values of and are of the same order of magnitude, which would be expected in HBPs with . The proposed VG model of radio emission from HBPs, in which pair production occurs directly above the polar cap, is an alternative to the recently proposed lengthened space-charge-limited-flow (SCLF) model, in which the pair formation front is located at relatively high altitudes, where the dipole field is degraded below . Our model allows high radio-loud pulsars not only just above but even above G, which is the upper limit for HBPs within the lengthened SCLF model.
Key words: pulsars: general
There are two important conclusions that can be drawn from the radio emission properties of pulsars. Firstly the radio emission is thought to arise at an altitude from the center of the neutron star, where is of the order of several stellar radii, R=106 cm (e.g. Kijak & Gil 1997, 1998, and references therein). Secondly the regions from where the radio emission arises are consistent with a purely dipolar magnetic field (Radhakrishnan & Cooke 1969). However the structure of the magnetic field at the surface of the neutron star is largely unknown. Strong non-dipolar surface magnetic fields have long been thought to play an important role in the radio emission of pulsars. For example, in order to sustain pair production in vacuum gaps, the Ruderman & Sutherland (RS75) model implicitly assumed that the radius of curvature of field lines above the polar cap should be about 106 cm, which is 100 times smaller than that expected from a global dipolar magnetic field, thus indicating the presence of non-dipolar components. It is believed that thermal X-rays from pulsars are a good diagnostic tool to infer the structure of the surface magnetic field. Soft X-ray observations of pulsars show non-uniform surface temperatures which can be attributed to small scale magnetic anomalies on the pulsar polar cap (e.g. Page & Sarmiento 1990; Bulik et al. 1992, 1995). Several similar arguments in favour of the non-dipolar nature of the surface magnetic field can also be found in Becker & Trümper (1997); Cheng et al. (1998); Rudak & Dyks (1999); Cheng & Zhang (1999); Thompson & Duncan (1995, 1996), Murakami et al. (1999), and Tauris & Konar (2001). Also several theoretical studies concerning the formation and evolution of non-dipolar magnetic fields in neutron stars are found in the literature (e.g. Blandford et al. 1983; Krolik 1991; Ruderman 1991; Arons 1993; Chen & Ruderman 1993; Geppert & Urpin 1994; Mitra et al. 1999).
Woltjer (1964) proposed that the magnetic field in neutron stars results from the fossil field of the progenitor star which is amplified during the collapse stage and remains anchored in the superfluid core of the neutron star. It was also noted by several authors that shortly after or during the collapse of the neutron star magnetic fields can be generated in the outermost crust (e.g. by a mechanism like thermomagnetic instabilities; Blandford et al. 1983). Urpin et al. (1986) showed that in the crustal model it is possible to form small-scale surface field anomalies with typical sizes of the order of 100 meters. Further, Gil & Mitra (2001) demonstrated that such "sunspot''-like magnetic field structures on the polar cap surface help to sustain VG-driven radio emission of pulsars. In this paper we consider the scenario where the magnetic field on the neutron stars' surface is non-dipolar in nature which is due to superposition of the fossil field in the core and the crustal field structures. The crust gives rise to small-scale anomalies which can be modelled by a number of crust-anchored dipoles oriented in different directions (e.g. Blandford et al. 1983; Arons 1993). The superposition of global dipole and local anomaly is illustrated in Fig. 1, where for clarity of presentation only one local, crust-associated dipole is marked.
Formation of dense electron-positron pair plasma is essential for pulsar radiation, especially (but not only) at radio wavelengths. A purely quantum process for magnetic pair production is commonly invoked as a source of this plasma (e.g. Sturrock 1971; Ruderman & Sutherland 1975). For superstrong magnetic fields close to the so-called quantum field G, the process of free e-e+ pair production can be dominated by the phenomenon of photon splitting (Adler et al. 1970; Bialynicka & Bialynicki et al. 1970; Baring & Harding 1998) and/or bound positronium formation (Usov & Melrose 1995, 1996). While the latter process can reduce the number of free pairs at magnetic fields (e.g. Baring & Harding 2001), the former can suppress the magnetic pair production at G entirely, provided that photons which are polarized both parallel and perpendicular to the local magnetic field direction can split (e.g. Baring 2001; Baring & Harding 2001). This assumption will be implicitly made throughout this paper. Under these circumstances one can roughly define a photon splitting critical line and expect that there should be no radio pulsar above this line on the diagram, where G is the dipole surface magnetic field estimated at the pole from the pulsar period Pand its derivative (Shapiro & Teukolsky 1983; Usov & Melrose 1996). This death-line is more illustrative than quantitative. In fact, a number of specific model-dependent death-lines separating radio-loud from radio-quiet pulsars are available in the literature (Baring & Harding 1998, 2001; Zhang & Harding 2000a, 2001). All these slightly period-dependent death-lines cluster around on the diagram, and hence the quantum critical field is conventionally treated as a threshold magnetic field above which pulsar radio emission ceases. In this paper we also use this terminology, bearing in mind that the photon splitting threshold realistically means a narrow range of magnetic fields around the critical quantum field G, certainly above 1013 G (see review by Baring 2001). For convenience, in all numerical examples presented in Figs. 2-6 and subsequent discussions we assume that the threshold magnetic field .
In order to produce the necessary dense electron-positron plasma, a high-voltage accelerating region has to exist near the polar cap of pulsars. Two models of such acceleration regions are available in the literature, namely: the stationary space charge limited flow (SCLF) model (Sharleman et al. 1978; Arons & Sharleman 1979; Arons 1981) in which charged particles flow freely from the polar cap, and the highly non-stationary vacuum gap (VG) models (Ruderman & Sutherland 1975; Cheng & Ruderman 1977, 1980; Gil & Mitra 2001) in which the free outflow of charged particles from the polar cap surface is strongly impeded. In the VG models the charged particles accelerate within a height scale of about the polar cap radius (i.e. 104 cm), due to a high potential drop across the gap, while in the SCLF models particles accelerate within a height scale of a stellar radius 106 cm, due to the potential drop resulting from the curvature of field lines and/or the inertia of outstreaming particles. In both models the free e-e+ pairs are created if the kinematic threshold is reached or exceeded and the local magnetic field is lower than the photon splitting threshold , where is the photon energy and is the propagation angle with respect to the direction of the local magnetic field.
Recent discovery of high-magnetic-field pulsars (HBPs) however has
challenged the existing pair creation theories. Few HBPs are seen to have
the inferred surface dipolar fields above the photon splitting
level: PSRs J1119-6127, J1814-1744 and J1726-3530 (Table 1).
Yet another strong-field neutron star PSR J1846-0258
G was discovered (Gotthelf et al. 2000),
which seems to be radio-quiet (Kaspi et al. 1996), although its X-ray
emission is apparently driven by dense
(e.g. Cordes 2001). Bearing in mind that the
actual threshold due to photon splitting and/or bound positronium
formation can be well below the critical field
G, all high-magnetic-field radio pulsars
G pose a challenge. To evade the photon
splitting problem for these pulsars
Zhang & Harding (Zhang & Harding 2000a, ZH00 hereafter) proposed "a unified picture for HBPs and
magnetars''. They argued that radio-quiet magnetars cannot have
active inner accelerators (thus no
while the HBPs can, with a difference attributed to the relative
orientations of rotation and magnetic axes (neutron stars can be
either parallel rotators (PRs) with
antiparallel rotators (APRs) with
is the pulsar spin axis and
magnetic field at the pole). If the photon splitting suppresses
completely the pair production at the polar cap surface, then the
VG inner accelerator cannot form, since the high potential drop
cannot be screened at the top of the acceleration region. Hence,
ZH00 argued that in the high magnetic field regime
pair production process is possible only if the SCLF accelerator
forms. In fact, such SCLF accelerators are typically quite long
and their pair formation front (PFF) can occur at high altitudes
r, where the dipolar magnetic field
demonstrated that such a lengthened SCLF accelerator in a magnetar
environment can form only for PRs and not for APRs. Consequently
they concluded that the radio-loud HBPs are PRs with developed
lengthened SCLF accelerator, while the radio-quiet magnetars (AXPs
and SGRs) are APRs. It is worth emphasizing here that ZH00
developed their model under the assumption that the magnetic field
at the surface of HBPs is purely dipolar.
|source||P (s)||(s/s)||Bp (G)|
In this paper we propose an alternative model for radio-loud HBPs based on a highly non-dipolar surface magnetic field, in which the photon splitting within the VG inner acceleration region does not operate even if the dipole magnetic field exceeds the critical value at the polar cap. Thus our model requires that HBPs are APRs, which is a consequence of the VG scenario (e.g. Ruderman & Sutherland 1975; Gil & Mitra 2001). This model is a follow-up of Gil & Mitra (2001), who argued that the VG can form if the actual surface magnetic field is about 1013 Gauss. In other words, they assumed that all VG-driven radio pulsars require strong highly non-dipolar surface magnetic fields, with strength being more or less independent of the value of the global dipole field inferred from the magnetic braking law. Thus, if G then and if G then . However, for radio pulsars to operate, in any case . We argue that such strong surface field anomalies can increase the dipolar field in normal pulsars to values exceeding 1013 G (required by the conditions for VG formation - see Gil & Mitra 2001) if the global and local surface fields have the same polarities, or reduce the very high dipolar field in HBPs, if both these components are of comparable values and have opposite polarities.
|Figure 1: Superposition of the star-centered global magnetic dipole "d'' and crust-anchored local dipole "m'' placed at and inclined to the z-axis by an angle . The actual surface magnetic field at radius vector is , where , , r is the radius (altitude) and is the polar angle (magnetic colatitude). R is the radius of the neutron star and L is the crust thickness.|
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We model the actual surface magnetic field by superposition of the star-centered global dipole and a crust-anchored dipole moment , whose influence results in small-scale deviations of the surface magnetic field from the global dipole, as presented in Fig. 1. The technical details of the calculations of the resultant surface magnetic field are presented in the Appendix. Here we discuss the main results and their consequences. For simplicity, in this paper we mostly consider an axially symmetric case in which both and are directed along the z-axis (parallel or antiparallel), thus (see Fig. 1). Also, for convenience "'' is expressed in units of . We use normalized units in which d=P=R=1 and . (see caption of Fig. 2 for the normalization convention). All calculations are carried out in three-dimensions, although, for clarity of graphic presentation, in the figures we present only two-dimensional cuts of the open field line regions.
|Figure 2: Structure of the surface magnetic field for a superposition of the global star-centered dipolar moment and crust-anchored dipole moment (Fig. 1). The open dipolar field lines (solid) and the actual surface open field lines (dashed) are shown in the upper panel. The horizontal axis is labelled as azimuthal angle (magnetic colatitude), which measures the polar cap radius. For purely dipolar field lines the polar cap radius , which for pulsar period P=1 s is about 0.014 radians (thus cm). The actual polar cap is broader, with the last open lines emanating at the polar angles (thus the actual polar cap radius ). The actual open surface field lines (solid) reconnect with dipolar field lines (dashed) at distances , where r is the radius and radians. In the lower panel the surface values (r=R) of both dipolar field (dashed horizontal) and the actual field (solid line) are shown. The radial components and , and total values are presented (where d=R=1is assumed for convenience).|
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As mentioned above, the formation of the VG inner accelerator requires
a very high magnetic field
G on the surface of
the polar cap (Usov & Melrose 1995, 1996; Gil & Mitra 2001). This can be achieved not
only in pulsars with high dipolar field
fact, some of the low-field pulsars with
have a surface field
d). We discuss such normal, low-field
pulsars later in this paper. Presently let us consider the HBP
with a dipolar surface field at the pole
G exceeding the photon splitting
If all photon splitting modes operate,
such a pulsar should be radio-quiet. Alternatively these pulsars
could be radio-loud if the effective surface field is reduced
Such a scenario can be achieved if the polarities of
are opposite, that is
are antiparallel. Figure 2 presents
a case with
actual surface values of
well as radial components of
are presented in the lower panel
of Fig. 2 (note that all radial components are positive
and that the total
is almost equal to
in this case). At
the pole (radius r=R and polar angle )
As one can see from this figure,
all surface field lines between
open, but the ratio
increases towards the polar cap
edge, reaching a value of about 0.5 in the region between polar
about 0.5 in this region. Thus, the global dipolar field (
in our units) is effectively reduced by between 2 and 5 times in
different parts of the polar cap (defined as the surface area from
which the open magnetic field lines emanate). This means that the
ranges from 0.5 to 0.8 across the polar cap. The
actual polar cap is broader than the canonical dipolar polar cap
(two dashed vertical lines correspond to the last open dipolar field
lines emanating at the polar angles
for a typical period P=1 s). The ratio of actual to dipolar polar
cap radii is
in this case. Thus, using
the argument of magnetic flux conservation of the open field
lines, one can say that an effective surface magnetic field of the
polar cap is about 2.8 times lower than the dipolar surface field
measured from the values of P and .
If the estimated
G (like in the case of PSR
J1814-1744, Table 1) then the actual surface field at the pole
G, well below the photon
splitting death line
G. Such a pulsar can
be radio-loud without invoking the lengthened SCLF accelerator
proposed by ZH00. As shown by Gil & Mitra (2001), in such a strong surface
magnetic field the vacuum gap accelerator can form, which implies
low altitude coherent radio emission
(Melikidze et al. 2000, see Sect. 3 in this paper) at altitudes
(for a typical
pulsar with P=1 s) in agreement with observational constraints
on radio emission altitudes (Cordes 1978, 1992; Kijak & Gil 1997, 1998; Kijak 2001).
Figure 3 presents another case of opposite polarities , with magnitude of being two times stronger than in the previous case (Fig. 2). Again for , at the pole (r=R and ) and . The negative sign of the ratio means that the surface magnetic field is directed opposite to near the pole, that is the circumpolar field lines with polar angles (where ) are closed. The last open surface field lines (solid) emanating at polar angles (where ) reconnect with the last open dipolar field lines (dashed) at altitudes (thus about 2 km above the surface). The actual polar cap, which is the surface through which the open magnetic field lines emanate, has the shape of a ring located outside the circle of the dipolar polar cap with angular radius (or diameter cm). Again, the magnetic flux conservation argument leads to , thus is about within the ring of the open field lines (note that in this region). The actual values of the surface magnetic field (radial and total ) are shown as solid lines in the lower panel of Fig. 3, in comparison with radial components of the dipolar field (dashed horizontal line). As one can see, and is negative for . If the dipolar surface component of the pulsar magnetic field is G (like PSR J1726-3530 given in Table 1), then the actual surface magnetic field G, is below the photon splitting threshold.
Figure 4 presents a case with
in which both magnetic moments have the same polarity.
Obviously, in such a case the surface magnetic field will be
stronger as compared with pure dipole (m=0). The flux conservation
argument gives a surface magnetic field
). Thus the actual
surface field is about 3 times stronger than the inferred dipolar
Such cases of
increasing an effective magnetic field can be important in normal
pulsars with low dipolar field
G (Gil & Mitra 2001).
It is then interesting to examine how different polarities of and would influence normal pulsars with . If thus then of course can be slightly lower than , as in the case of HBPs (Fig. 2). In such a case, however, the VG cannot form. In fact, as argued by Gil & Mitra (2001), the formation of the VG requires that is close to 1013 G or even above, thus is required in normal pulsars (see also Gil et al. 2001). Figure 5 illustrates a case of high surface magnetic field with , in which the VG can apparently form. As one can see from this figure, the values of at the ring-shaped polar cap are close to dipolar values . One can show that this is a general situation, that is, no matter by how much exceeds at the pole. This follows from the fact that the angular location of the polar cap ring increases with increasing ratio . For example, in the case presented in Fig. 5 and the last open field lines emanate at polar angles radians, or at polar cap radii cm (for P=1 s). Thus, the narrow polar cap ring is located far from the local dipole , whose influence is weak at this distance. The circumpolar field lines between polar angles -0.053 to +0.053 are closed.
Thus, we conclude that the actual pulsar surface magnetic field can significantly differ (say by an order of magnitude) from the inferred dipolar field only in the case when the polarities of the global and local dipole (Fig. 1) are the same, as illustrated in Fig. 4. If this is the case, then can largely exceed , which seems to be important from the viewpoint of vacuum gap formation, which requires G (see Gil & Mitra 2001). Therefore, in normal VG-driven radio pulsars the polar cap should be circular, or at least filled - if the axial symmetry does not hold. A ring-shaped polar cap can occur only in normal pulsars with and in radio-loud HBPs with .
In the accompanying paper Gil et al. (2002) explored consequences of the vacuum gap model interpretation for drifting subpulses observed in PSR B0943+10, in which 20 sparks move circumferentially around the perimeter of the polar cap, each completing one circulation in 37 pulsar periods (Deshpande & Rankin 1999, 2001). Gil et al. (2002) considered both the curvature radiation (CR) and resonant inverse Compton radiation (ICS) seed photons as sources of electron-positron pairs and determined the parameter space for the surface magnetic field structure in each case. For the CR-VG the surface magnetic field strength G and the radius of curvature of surface field lines , while for the resonant ICS-VG G and (of course, in both caseS G). The CR-VG with such a curved surface magnetic field does not seem likely (although it cannot be excluded), while the ICS-VG gap supported by the magnetic field structure determined by the parameter space specified above guarantees a system of 20 sparks circulating around the perimeter of the polar cap by means of the drift in about 37 pulsar periods.
Further, Gil et al. (2002) modelled the magnetic field structure determined by the ICS-VG parameter space (specified above), using the numerical formalism developed in this paper. Since G in this case, to obtain G one needs and the same polarity of both components. Following the symmetry suggested by the observed patterns of drifting subpulses in PSR B0943+10, the local dipole axis was placed at the polar cap center. A number of model solutions corresponding to and d and satisfying the ICS-VG parameter space, was then obtained. As a result of this specific modelling Gil et al. (2002) obtained a number of interesting and important conclusions: (i) The conditions for the formation of the ICS-VG are satisfied only at the peripheral ring-like region of the polar cap, which can just accommodate a system of 20 sparks performing drift. (ii) The surface magnetic field lines within the actual gap are converging, which stabilizes the drifting sparks by preventing them from rushing towards the pole, as opposed to the case of a diverging dipolar field (e.g. Fillipenko & Radhakrishnan 1982). (iii) No model solutions with G and cm, could be obtained which corresponding to the CR-VG parameter space, which in turn favors the ICS-VG in PSR B0943+10.
We argue in this paper that the presence of a strong non-dipolar magnetic field on the neutron star surface can help to understand the recently discovered radio pulsars with dipolar magnetic field above the photon splitting threshold, as well as to understand the long-standing problems of vacuum gap formation and drifting subpulse phenomenon. We model the actual surface magnetic field as a superposition of the global star-centered (large-scale) dipole and local crust-anchored (small-scale) dipoles , where is the local dipole nearest to the polar cap centre (Fig. 1). Such a model is quite general, as it describes the magnetic field structure even if the star-centered fossil dipole field is negliglible at the star surface. In such a case the global surface dipole field (inferred from P and measurements) is a superposition of all crust-anchored dipoles calculated at a far distance and projected down to the polar cap surface according to the dipolar law.
We propose a model for radio-loud HBPs with high inferred dipolar magnetic field G, even exceeding the critical value G. Given the difficulty that in a strong magnetic field the magnetic pair creation process is largely suppressed, the puzzling issue remains how these HBPs produce their pair plasma necessary for the generation of the observable radio emission. Zhang & Harding (2000a) proposed a "lengthened version'' of the stationary SCLF model of inner accelerator (e.g. Arons & Sharleman 1979), in which the pair formation front occurs at altitudes r high enough above the polar cap that degrades below , thus evading the photon splitting threshold. Our VG model is an alternative to the lengthened SCLF model, with pair creation occurring right at the polar cap surface, even if the magnetic field exceeds . We have assumed that the open surface magnetic field lines result in an actual pulsar from superposition of the star-centered global dipole moment and a crust-anchored local dipole moment. We argued that if the polarities of these two components are opposite, and their values are comparable, then the actual value of the surface magnetic field can be lower than the critical field , even if the global dipole field exceeds the critical value. Thus, the creation of electron-positron plasma is possible at least over a part of the polar cap and these high magnetic field neutron stars can be radio-loud (HBPs). In fact, one should expect that in HBPs, in which by definition G, the ratio should be of the order of unity, since and G.
Within our simple model of a non-dipolar surface magnetic field one should expect that both cases and will occur with approximately equal probability. However, from the viewpoint of observable radio emission only the latter case is interesting in HBPs with . In fact, when , then the surface magnetic field (Fig. 4) and the photon splitting level is highly exceeded. For we have two possibilities: (i) if thus at the pole then the polar cap (locus of the open field lines) is circular (Fig. 2); (ii) if thus then part of the circumpolar field lines are closed and the actual polar cap has the shape of ring (Fig. 3). In both cases (i) and (ii), the actual surface magnetic field at the polar cap (or at least part of it) can be lower than , even if exceeds . The values of and should be comparable to make reduction of The strong surface field below possible. In our illustrative examples presented in Figs. 2 and 3 (corresponding to the same pulsar with P=1 s and G) we used ratios ranging from 0.5 to 1.6. These values could be slightly different, say by a factor of a few, thus we can say that the ratio should be of the order of unity. If , then the reduction of the surface dipole field is not effective (see example presented and discussed in Fig. 5). On the other hand, the case with is not interesting, as it represents a weak surface magnetic field anomaly. Thus, among a putative population of neutron stars with , only those with a ratio of the order of unity, and with magnetic moment and (Fig. 1) antiparallel at the polar cap surface, that is , can be detected as HBPs. Other neutron stars from this population of high magnetic dipole field objects should be radio-quiet. This probably explains why there are so few HBPs detected.
Within the lengthened SCLF model there is an upper limit around
G for radio-loud HBPs (ZH00, ZH01, Zhang 2001).
As ZH00 argued, detecting a pulsar above this limit would strongly
imply that only one mode of photon splitting occurs. Without the
alternative model of HBPs proposed in this paper, such a detection
would really be of great importance for the fundamental physics of
the photon splitting phenomenon. In our VG-based model there is no
natural upper limit for the radio-loud HBPs. However, it is known
that due to the magnetic pressure the neutron star surface would
tend to "crack'', which should occur at magnetic field strengths
approaching 1015 G (Thompson & Duncan 1995). It is unclear how the radio
emission would be affected by such a cracking process.
To illustrate the above argument, let us consider Fig. 6
which presents yet another case of opposite polarities
at the pole (r=R,
). The dashed horizontal line at B=0.2 in the lower
panel corresponds to the surface magnetic field
which is 10
times weaker than the global dipole component
in the figure). Thus if, for example,
above the lengthened SCLF limit
a pulsar was not observed so far), then the actual surface field
is well below
G, at least in
the inner part of the polar cap between
This "pair-forming effective'' polar cap is about 2.5 times
smaller than the canonical polar cap with radius
rad, and about 7 times smaller than the entire
polar cap with radius
rad. Near the last open
field lines at polar angles
the actual surface magnetic field
is only about 2 times
lower than ,
while in a narrow circumpolar area with
the surface field region
can even be
more than 10 times weaker than .
Thus, within our model one
can expect a radio-loud HBP with
G. However, their radio beams should be much
narrower than those expected in normal pulsars, at least a few to
several times less than
is the radio emission altitude; Kijak & Gil 1997, 1998). This would make such sources difficult to
|Figure 7: As in Fig. 6 but with the local dipole shifted off center by radians. See also text for explanation.|
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The dotted horizontal line at B=0.05 in Fig. 6 corresponds to G for adopted G. This value of the surface magnetic field is believed to be about the lower limit for VG formation (see Gil & Mitra 2001; Gil et al. 2002). Thus, the shadowed area in Fig. 6 represent a narrow hollow cone above which the VG-driven radio emission cannot occur. A similar hollow cone is marked in Fig. 7, which presents a case similar to that illustrated in Fig. 6, except that the local dipole is shifted off center by radians (corresponding to about 0.2 of the actual polar cap radius). The dashed horizontal line at B=0.4 corresponds to G and the dotted horizontal line at B=0.1 corresponds to G, both calculated for adopted G. The polar angles and correspond to and in Fig. 6, respectively. Figure 7 demonstrates that the conclusions of our paper do not depend on where the local dipole is placed.
The above arguments strengthen the possibility that some magnetars
can also emit observable radio emission (Camilo et al. 2000; Zhang & Harding 2000b). It
is therefore interesting to comment on the apparent proximity of
HBP PSRJ 1814-1744 (with
G) and AXP 1E
G) in the diagram. In both these cases the inferred surface magnetic field
well exceeds the critical value
Within our model, the
former object can be radio-loud if the strong local dipole and the global dipole
have opposite polarities. The radio
quiescence of AXP 1E 2259+586 can be naturally explained if the
local dipole is not able to decrease the inferred dipole magnetic
field below the photon-splitting death-line. Thus, either the
polarities are the same or they are opposite but the local dipole
is not strong enough to reduce the dipole surface field below
|Figure 8: Radius of curvature (in units of R=106 cm) as a function of normalized altitude for actual surface magnetic field lines corresponding to four cases presented in Figs. 2-6. For comparison, the radius of curvature of purely dipolar field lines (in pulsar with P=1 s) is shown (line 1).|
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In Fig. 8 we show the radii of curvature of actual surface field lines compared with those of purely dipolar field (line 1) as a function of normalized altitude above the polar cap. Within the polar gap at z<1.01 (within about 100 meters from the surface) the curvature radii for all cases presented in Figs. 2-6 have values of the order of a few hundred meters (see Urpin et al. 1986), suitable for curvature-radiation-driven magnetic pair production ( cm, where is the curvature of the field lines).
All model calculations performed in this paper correspond to the axisymmetric case in which one local dipole is placed at the polar cap center (except the case presented in Fig. 7). In a forthcoming paper we will consider a general, non-axisymmetric case, including more local dipoles, each with different orientation with respect to the global dipole. Although this generalization will give a more realistic picture of the actual surface magnetic field, it will not change our conclusions obtained in this paper.
It should be finally emphasized that although the lengthened SCLF model for HBPs (ZH00) can solve the problem of pair creation in pulsars with surface dipole field exceeding the photon splitting threshold, it does not automatically warrant generation of the coherent radio emission of such HBPs. The problem is that unlike in the non-stationary VG model, where the low altitude radio emission can be generated by means of two-stream instabilities (Asseo & Melikidze 1998; Melikidze et al. 2000), the stationary SCLF inner accelerator is associated with the high-altitude relativistic maser radiation (e.g. Kazbegi et al. 1991, 1992; Kazbegi et al. 1996). This radiation requires relatively low Lorentz factors of a dense secondary plasma (e.g. Machabeli & Usov 1989). It is not clear if such a plasma can be produced within the lengthened SCLF accelerator with delayed pair formation taking place in a purely dipolar magnetic field, either by curvature radiation or by inverse Compton scattering (e.g. Zhang & Harding 2000b) processes. Moreover, the relativistic maser coherent radio emission requires a relatively weak magnetic field in the generation region. With the surface dipole field G, such a low field may not exist at reasonable altitudes (about 50% of the light cylinder radius ) required by the physics of corresponding instabilities (Kazbegi et al. 1991, 1992; Kazbegi et al. 1996). Thus, if one assumes that the radio-loud HBPs are driven by the SCLF lengthened accelerator as proposed by ZH00, they might not be able to generate observable coherent radio emission. This contradiction seems to be a challenge for the lengthened SCLF scenario for HBPs. In our VG-based model the low-altitude radio emission of HBPs is driven by just the same mechanism as the one most probably operating in typical radio pulsars (e.g. soliton curvature radiation proposed recently by Melikidze et al. 2000). In fact, the HBPs show apparently normal radio emission, with all properties typical for characteristic pulsar radiation (Camilo et al. 2000).
In order to model the actual surface magnetic field by
superposition of the star-centered global dipole
the crust-anchored dipole moment ,
let us consider the
general geometrical situation presented in Fig. 1. The
resultant surface magnetic field is
The equations of the line of force of the vector field
have a well known form in spherical
of the field lines (where
the radius of curvature presented for various cases in Figs. 2-8)
is calculated as
This paper is supported in part by the KBN Grant 2 P03D 008 19 of the Polish State Committee for Scientific Research. We are grateful to Dr. U. Geppert for very helpful discussions. We also thank E. Gil and G. Melikidze Jr. for technical help. DM would like to thank the Institute of Astronomy, University of Zielona Góra, for support and hospitality during his visit to the institute, where this and the accompanying paper were started.